Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Storm Highway by Dan RobinsonClick for an important message
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                   Friday, April 2, 2010 - 2:09PM CDT

Green light for storm chasing April 3-7

Important Message 30 Years of Storm Chasing & Photography Dan's YouTube Video Channel Dan's Twitter feed Dan's RSS/XML feed

With the Tuesday dental appointment no longer an issue (I have the option to cancel without penalty on Monday if necessary), it's time to go on standby for several upcoming storm chase days - with the first outing possible tonight! These upcoming few days are the type of 'dividends' I'd anticipated by moving to the Midwest and being closer to severe weather events. Here is my synopsis on the upcoming setups:

  • Friday night (tonight) April 2 into Saturday the 3rd: A weakening squall line should roll through the St. Louis metro sometime this evening, providing at the very least some upward tower lightning opportunities. Some additional activity may move through during the overnight hours.
  • Saturday, April 3: A small post-frontal setup, driven mainly by surface heating and cool air aloft, will exist here at home and over much of southern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. Hail is the primary threat.
  • Monday, April 5: A potentially big outbreak day across the Plains/Midwest, with moderate instability underneath great mid- and upper-level wind support. Models don't show a specific area yet, but there are three possible targets I'm considering: One is the dryline in Kansas, the second the (possible) triple point in Kansas/Nebraska, the third a warm front across Missouri. All areas should have decent instability, with the helicity and low-level wind fields generally better on the warm front. The GFS also breaks out more precip on the warm front, with backed surface winds across MO.
  • Tuesday, April 6: The latest (12z) run of the GFS places a potential event in Missouri on Tuesday. Wind fields appear more unidirectional this day, but speed shear should be significant. A big squall line appears to be the play this day.
In general, models have been inconsistent and unreliable recently concerning the timing of large-scale features. Any slowdown or speed-up of the incoming upper level trough could significantly impact the tornado potential and timing/location of targets. Even general target decisions these next few days will likely have to be made the morning of the events.

I plan to experiment with streaming video on some of these days, so stay tuned. As always, I'll post more frequent updates on the Facebook and Twitter pages (link icons above), with photos and video posted here as time and internet access allows.

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